Theater club

Variety Boys & Girls club receives $ 1.25 million grant to support new science lab

Executives of the Variety Boys & Girls Club outside their Astoria clubhouse announced the $ 1.25 million grant on Monday (Photo courtesy of VBGCQ)

January 11, 2022 By Christian Murray

Two hydropower companies that will provide clean power to a substation in Astoria in 2025 have come together to donate $ 1.25 million to the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens.

Hydro-Quebec and Transmission Developers Inc., which are developing a clean energy transmission line from the Canada-US border to New York, are donating funds to the Astoria-based youth organization which will also be used to finance a science laboratory. as STEM programming.

The laboratory will be part of a 5-storey pavilion that the VBGCQ is developing on its site 21-20 30th Rd.

The science lab will be on the fourth floor of the new clubhouse, according to Costa Constantinides, CEO of VBGCQ. The new pavilion is expected to be completed in 2026 and the lab will open at that time. The lab will offer science programs, focused on climate and energy innovation, for children in Kindergarten to Grade 8.

“We are grateful for this contribution to our project which will transform the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens into a leading center of education and innovation for the residents of Queens,” said Constantinides.

NK Architects, schematic design of the new facility (Rendered courtesy of VBGCQ)

Hydro-Quebec and Transmission Developers are working together on what is called the Champlain Hudson Power Express project. The project will see the delivery of clean hydroelectricity to New York City, displacing some of the need for production from fossil fuels.

“The Champlain Hudson Power Express team is thrilled with today’s announcement that supports the Variety Boys & Girls Club’s commitment to serving the local community,” said Hydro-Quebec CEO Sophie Brochu and Transmission Developers CEO Don Jessome in a joint statement Monday.

“We hope that the partnership in this 21st century science lab will provide life-changing experiences and open career paths in the clean economy for young people living in Queens.”

The VBGCQ has received significant funding for its new clubhouse over the past year. In June, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced that he had allocated $ 5 million in capital for the facility. Meanwhile, the city council also allocated him $ 5 million.

The new clubhouse will feature Queens’ premier Planetarium, a 1,000-seat basketball arena, Olympic-size swimming pool and a 200-seat black box theater. It will also have several art, music and dance studios; scientific laboratory; and dozens of fully equipped training rooms and technological spaces for STEM and robotics.

The club is also developing a 14-story apartment building on its property as part of the project to help fund its programming.

Development is expected to start in 2023 and be completed by 2026.

Rendering of the club house and the apartment complex under development by the VBGCQ (Marner Architecture)

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